Personal, behavioral, and environmental predictors of healthy weight maintenance during the transition to adulthood

Nicole I Larson, Ying Chen, Melanie Wall, Megan R Winkler, Andrea B. Goldschmit, Dianne R Neumark-Sztainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a high prevalence of overweight among U.S. young adults and the intergenerational implications of excess weight gain at this life stage are great. We used Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) study data to identify personal, behavioral, and environmental factors that predicted healthy weight maintenance during the transition from adolescence to adulthood and as individuals progressed from the third to fourth decade of life. The sample included 1120 young adults who were secondary school students in Minneapolis-St. Paul at Time 1 (1998–1999) and responded at follow-ups in 2008–2009 and 2015–2016. Results showed individual factors and multiple environmental factors contribute to maintenance. The most consistent findings suggest that having higher body satisfaction and avoiding unhealthy weight control behaviors (e.g., skipping meals) and dieting are protective against excess weight gain for women and men. For example, the odds ratio associated with a one standard deviation increase in the probability of using an extreme weight control behavior from adolescence and adulthood was 0.67 (CI: 0.54, 0.84) among women and 0.34 (CI: 0.12, 0.96) among men indicating decreased odds of maintaining a healthy weight. Social support for healthy eating and physical activity were protective whereas close relationships with individuals who were dieting (e.g., parents, significant others) reduced the likelihood of maintaining a healthy weight. Primary prevention strategies should continue beyond adolescence and involve peer social support to encourage young people at a healthy weight to be satisfied with their shape/size and avoid restrictive weight control behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-90
Number of pages11
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume113
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Fingerprint

Maintenance
Weights and Measures
Behavior Control
Young Adult
Social Support
Weight Gain
Primary Prevention
Meals
Eating
Parents
Odds Ratio
Exercise
Students

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Eating behavior
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity
  • Weight status
  • Young adulthood

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Cite this

Personal, behavioral, and environmental predictors of healthy weight maintenance during the transition to adulthood. / Larson, Nicole I; Chen, Ying; Wall, Melanie; Winkler, Megan R; Goldschmit, Andrea B.; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne R.

In: Preventive Medicine, Vol. 113, 01.08.2018, p. 80-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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